What has gender equality to do with James Bond?
In a video clip released for International Women’s Day 2011, Judi Dench and Daniel Craig, famously known as “M” and James Bond, reflect on some aspects of gender inequality worldwide. Not the first character that comes to one’s mind when thinking about gender equality, but known for its fondness for women, James Bond literally puts himself in their shoes. So he’s being more likely to experience violence, earning less money, being less likely to enter political office, and so on.
“What does gender equality mean to you?” was the question raised to all staff in GIZ Cambodia at the gender event in Phnom Penh on 10 April. In a team competition, all GIZ projects were asked to express their view on gender equality on pin boards, using quotes, collages, pictures, etc.. Eight pin boards presented by the GIZ colleagues brought to light how the question of gender equality affects men and women in their personal, as well as in their work lives.
Although there is a common definition of what gender equality means – equal rights, equal opportunities, equal responsibilities and an equal say for women and men – the reality still tells a different story. The pin boards showed that the GIZ staff encounters various forms of inequality. The team of the programmes SAFT, SAS, CFR pointed some of them out: Lack of access to essential resources, limited access to information and social and cultural norms that are limiting female participation in decision making, although they represent two-thirds of the workforce of farmers in the developing world. Other pin boards showed ideas how gender equality can be achieved: For example through equal share of work in the household or an equal representation in society, politics and decision making positions at the workplace.
Examples on how to overcome gender inequality also came to life in the movie “Girl Rising” that the colleagues watched as part of the gender event. The film tells stories of nine girls around the world that took bold steps to confront inequality. The stories unfold their fight for the right to education and thus participation within their societies, but also tell the parts of fathers, brothers, teachers and social workers that supported the girls by taking bold action to confront stereotypes and social norms. Reflecting this year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme #BeBoldForChange, these stories illustrate the power each and every one has in challenging gender inequality.
It requires the willingness to question cultural and social norms. Questions have the power to challenge social perceptions, asking for ways to solve problems, allowing for a change of perspectives. Judy Dench’s words at the end of the above mentioned video are as true in 2017 as they have been in 2011: “So, are we equals? Until the answer is yes, we must never stop asking.”
For further Information please contact Mirjam Marquard: Miriam.Marquard@giz.de
When: 10 March 2014, 4 – 6:30 pm